Turkey Trouble by Wendi Silvano
Welcome to Kinderland, the place I spend most my time! Since I started teaching Kindergarten I read as many books for fun as I do for work. And I decided it’s time to start sharing them! In Books From Kinderland you’ll see the picture books I’m reading with my class from a teacher’s perspective. I’ll also share reviews of books I’m reading that are about teaching. So welcome to Kinderland!
Illustrator: Lee Harper
Series: Stand Alone
Published by Marshall Cavendish on October 1, 2009
Turkey Trouble is a really fun holiday read. Our turkey friend has a problem – it’s Thanksgiving and he’s the main course. So he tries to hide from the farmer by disguising himself as several farm animals. He does a pretty good job – almost. But, unfortunately, the only costume that really works is as a rooster. Guess what farmers who can’t find their turkey decide to make for dinner? Yep, Rooster! It’s fun seeing how this clever turkey finally gets out of being dinner!
Turkey is in trouble. Bad trouble. The kind of trouble where it's almost Thanksgiving . . . and you're the main
course. But Turkey has an idea--what if he doesn't look like a turkey? What if he looks like another animal instead?
After many hilarious attempts, Turkey comes up with the perfect disguise to make this Thanksgiving the best ever!
Wendi Silvano's comical story is perfectly matched by Lee Harper's watercolors.
What I like most about this book is the opportunity for the kids to get creative. We have a lesson about what an author and illustrator do. And then I tell them that for just today they get to be the author and illustrator of another page in Turkey Trouble! It’s their job as author and illustrator to save the turkey. How will they disguise him?
They get so creative!! They take the sentence stem “My turkey is ________” and the world really is the limit from their. This year I had Lsa (Elsa), ninju trtl (ninja turtle), futbol plyr (football player), mrmd (mermaid), and prnsis (princess). I love seeing the way they’re starting to really sound out words – yes, vowels are super tricky! And their pictures are equally great 🙂
A Plump and Perky Turkey by Teresa Bateman
Illustrator: Jeff Shelly
Series: Stand Alone
Published by Two Lions on September 6, 2013
Genres: Children's Picture Books
A Plump and Perky Turkey is just a super entertaining story. You can teach just about every Kindergarten TEKS using it – retelling (which is what we focused on), to characters, setting, and inferencing – they all fit. This Thanksgiving story is about a town that has a turkey shortage at Thanksgiving. So they come up with a plan to trick a turkey to come voluntarily to town. But, as with any turkey themed Thanksgiving story – the turkey emerges safe. Figuring out how he’ll survive the trick is a lot of fun for the kids. There’s nothing shocking or amazing about this story, but it’s fun and has lots of repetitive text which is good for any emergent reader.
When the people of Squawk Valley find themselves without a turkey for their Thanksgiving feast, they plot a way to lure one into town: They’ll advertise for a "model" turkey to pose during an arts-and-crafts fair, and gobble the bird when they’ve finished the artwork. But they don’t plan on meeting up with Pete—a turkey so clever, he outsmarts them all!
The Thank You Book by Mo Willems
Illustrator: Mo Willems
Series: Elephant & Piggie #25
Published by Disney-Hyperion on May 3, 2016
Genres: Children's Picture Books
Technically this isn’t a “Thanksgiving book” but I felt like it was the perfect book to make the transition from fun stories like the ones I shared above to the more serious talk of what Thanksgiving is all about. What I really liked about The Thank You Book is that it makes the idea of being thankful a bit more tangible for the kids. Mo Willems is a staple in my classroom, so the kids KNOW these characters. Watching Piggie thank them for friendship and adventures together in the other books I think helped transfer the idea of being thankful for things to being thankful for people and feelings.
Gerald is careful. Piggie is not.
Piggie cannot help smiling. Gerald can.
Gerald worries so that Piggie does not have to.
Gerald and Piggie are best friends.
In The Thank You Book!, Piggie wants to thank EVERYONE. But Gerald is worried Piggie will forget someone . . . someone important.
Because we were able to remember characters from other books, this was also great for a lesson on text-to-text connections. The only downer for me was that I had hoped they’d get a lot more out of the final thanks – to the reader. To be honest, most my kids didn’t seem to grasp that this was THEM. I’m not sure if it’s because we’ve talked so much about genre and they KNOW this is a fiction story or because we’d just spent so much time talking about the characters from other books showing up in this one… but I felt like my kids were trying to find this reader person from the other books. I know some of my high kids grasped it, but as a whole I need to rethink how I approach that bit of the book.
In the end, it will still be a Thanksgiving staple for my class!